Becoming a private tutor and giving face-to-face lessons to your students is quite different from other teaching jobs, such as teaching in the university or the traditional school curriculum classes.

While becoming a private teacher is not necessarily complicated, but it often requires you to have some basic skills.

As a tutor, you must understand that the teaching methods used as a private tutor differ from one student to another. Since a private tutor's job is to provide specialized training and tutorial of their students, the professional tutor should learn to adapt their teaching methods and plans to suit their unique student needs.

While a teacher's job requires you to be professional in your disposition towards your students and hardworking, a private tutor requires you to become an academic and life coach to the student. You are expected to motivate the student and make him strive for excellence.

Whether the student succeeds, in the long run, is dependent on your student's willingness to learn and how well you can encourage them to study by making the lecture fun.

To achieve this, you need to plan and tailor-made your tutorials to suit your different students' needs.

In this article, we will help you learn and understand the steps to follow in planning your lessons in other to suit each of your student’s unique needs when carrying out your tutoring jobs.

A Private Classes
A Professional Tutor With A Student. Source: Pinterest

Tailoring your Lessons for Private Tutors

In the more conventional educational system, every teacher is expected to follow a pre-stated curriculum and finish the lecture before the academic session.

It does not matter whether the student is in primary or secondary school, gifted or an average student; there are expected to learn at the same pace. These classes are designed to meet the students' needs without really paying attention to their individual strengths and weaknesses.

In this setting, most students are too shy to ask questions making them feel unmotivated, thereby reducing their grades since the classes are not properly adapted to suit their personal learning needs.

To become a private tutor in Nigeria and stand-out from the teeming number of other tutors springing up daily, it is important to know how to adapt your teaching methodology and lesson plan to suit your students. Take cognizance of their learning speed and their aptitude for the subject matter. This is the surest way to stand-out among the competition in Nigeria.

Tips to Adapting Your Lesson for your Students

When adapting your lesson plans to accommodate each of your students, you need to understand that your main reason for becoming their private tutor is to make them succeed.

Notwithstanding the subject that you are teaching the students, it is expected that you.

  • Maintain a personal relationship with your student to enable you to build trust
  • Keep the student's needs in mind.
  • Offer your student an excellent tutoring session that will help the student to succeed.
  • Ensure to motivate them always to help keep them on track
  • Build a student base of subjects and skills that you are most comfortable to teach effectively
  • Create a unique lesson plan and methodology for each student
  • Ensure that the lecture is fun and not boring by spicing the classes up with new things

After you have created and design a unique plan that will help you as a private tutor, it is now time to find the right student for your tutoring business.

A Tutor
A Professional Academic Tutor And A Child. Source shutterstock Image

The Importance of Pre-course Interview Session

For a tutor to perfectly understand their potential client, there is a need to have a pre-course interactive session before commencing the tutorial session. The pre-course sessions help you as a tutor to understand the student’s challenges.

This will help the tutor better understand the difficulties the student is facing and help him develop his lesson plan.

A great way to understand and assess the student is by going over the marked test and exams. This helps to monitor the child's progress in school.

Make sure that the interview session is not that formal and lengthy. It can be less than an hour but a good opportunity to understand your students well.

Below are some great tips that will help you to prepare for the pre-course interview session with your student

Have a personal discussion about the subject to be taught: Endeavour to understand what the student thinks about the subject you plan teaching. What is their motivating factor, and why do they think they need a private teacher or tutor? Would the student prefer online tutoring or a face-to-face method? Ask them to tell you how they want you to help them and their expectation from you. Encourage them to voice out their feelings and challenges. Make sure that you don’t judge them while doing this.

Look at the student’s previous homework, lesson notes, and report sheet: It is important that you ask the student to share the work they have done previously in a particular subject with you. Have a look at their past tests and scores, homework, and assignments. Why does the student think they failed this subject? Have they properly understood the mistake that they made while answering the questions? And if the homework were okay, why did they succeed.

Evaluate your student: You can do this by preparing a practice test or asking them to answer particular questions. Let the students understand that a test doesn't necessarily mean that it would be scored but a way to access their progress.

This can be completed within 45 minutes or less, and as a professional tutor, you are expected to have established the next line of action to pursue.

Get Professional Tutor
Find Professional Tutor in Nigeria. Source: Getty Images

Getting Parents Involved In Your Tutoring Lesson Plans

The parents of the students first contract most engagement for tutoring services in Nigeria. They are usually the first point of call and contact for a tutor or tutoring company when their wards are facing academic difficulties in school.

To help you understand the student's needs and challenges, you must communicate with the parents as much as possible. The student's parents are the people that can clearly tell you about the student's strengths and weaknesses.

It might be to help the children with their homework, a child struggling to understand some concept and explanations, starting to fall behind in his academic works, always having low marks, or finds their class works difficult.

Working in harmony with the student's parents aids you with valuable information and helps them advance more quickly.

The parent's advice helps to equip you more when planning your lessons. To get this valuable support from the parents, you must conduct a pre-course interview with the parents after discussing with the particular student that you are expected to teach.

The process can follow this format

  1. Give your professional and unbiased though on your previous interview session with their ward
  2. Address the need of the student that you deduced from your previous interaction
  3. Explain your teaching style to the parents and how you intend to tailor your lessons to the students needs to enable then catch up with their peers in school and advance
  4. Reassure the parents of the student's ability to succeed when given the needed push
  5. Encourage them to participate actively in planning your lesson with their wards and their opinion. It is a great way to synergies in helping the child to perform better
  6. Always seek for feedback from the parents in respect to the child progression

Addressing Student Strengths and Weaknesses

As a private teacher in the teaching profession, one of your major tasks is identifying your student's strengths and weaknesses. This skill helps you to plan and tailor your lessons and classes to suit the students learning needs.

In assessing the needs of your students, there is a need to

  • Frequently give them practice questions and tests to help you identify where they might be needing additional help.
  • When giving the students the practice questions, ensure that you keep them motivated by including questions they can easily answer.
  • Mix the concepts that the students struggle with and others that they prefer and do well with
  • Think outside the box by inculcating some fun and lively teaching aids like movies during a language class or other forms of visuals
  • Learn to be flexible with your teaching plan
A Child Learning
A Young Kid Reading. Source: Pinterest/Businesslist

In-House Tutoring for Long Term Sustainability

A long-term relationship with a student makes it easy for the tutor to perfectly understand the student's dynamism. It makes no sense jumping from one student to another every new term or session. One of the main objectives of any good private tutor is to teach a student for a long-term period and see them succeed.

This process may run from pre-nursery, primary, common entrance examination, secondary schools, JAMB and WAEC lessons until the child is admitted into the university.

This long term relationship comes with numerous advantages for both the tutor, tutee, and parents. Some of these advantages include

  1. Greater Productivity: Being in a long term relationship with a student ensured that you don't lose valuable time searching for new students and gig every term or year. It also helps the student to become more familiar with you and build trust.
  2. A perfect relationship with the student: This arrangement helps you know your students well and their learning needs and style. This will help you to tailor your teaching style to their needs.
  3. Great Testimonial: It is a thing of pride to have tutored students at their different stages of life. It feels great saying that "I've known and tutor these students since they were 10, and they are now in the university studying their dream courses. It opens more doors for you and testimonials.

To keep a student in the long-term, you need to understand that each student is unique and deserves a personalized approach in handling them.


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I am a professional Freelance Content writer with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management and a Masters Degree in Strategic Management. I am a member of several international organizations, including ISMN and NIM. I have a strong flair for writing as a lecturer. I utilize these skills to ensure my contents meet the global standard.